an interview with Nick and Peter
Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:04:15 am Quote
While Peter Hayes ends an interview, Nick Jago, the ex ex-drummer, invites me to wait with him in front of a porn. Then it’s in front of a good pizza and mineral water that we speak about HOWL, a sublime LP between blues and folk. The rock clichés sometimes are hard to kill.
Rock Mag: Nick, you had left the band in 2004. What made you coming
NICK: I missed making music. It’s a big part of my life. I’m roud of this band and I had the inpression to be gone with still work to do. I hadn’t realized what I had before going. I needed to lose everything to apreciate what I had lost. I needed a break to realized it. I needed to destroy everything to start again from scratch.
ROCK Mag: You came back in the band during the recording and you finally only plays on the title “Promise”.How did this return was?
NICK: I wouldn’t enter in studio, I was too nervous, on another planet.The first week when I get back behind the drums, my body made me atrociously suffer.I had lost all my muscles. It was hard physically, but psychologically, it was a rebirth.I’m happy to be back.As soon as we played together, it was as if nothing had changed.There was more comprehension between us.
Rock Mag: Finally, this split was maybe a good thing?
NICK: It didn’t come from a very elegant way, but it was a fucking good thing, yeah.
PETER: Anyway wa needed a break…
Rock Mag: This episode made you miss Rock en Seine last year, but you had immediately moved on with a subtitute to cope well your show at the Alaquas Festival in Spain. How did it happen?
PETER: (this memory makes him smile) Yes…I forgot his name…ah yes!Romero. We were the top of the bill and the organizer of the festival freaked out so much that we could cancel our gig that he introduced to us a guy who knew how to play our songs. You can’t replace a drummer who plays with you for 8 years and hope that all’s going to be ok. We had tried another drummer after Nick’s departure, but we immediately thought that we couldn’t play with someone else. That’s why we made the drums ourselves for the album. It would have make me feel strange to have a musician for the studio in our band. We prefer that it stays in the family.
Rock Mag: This new record is surprizing coming from you as the electric fury leaves its place to acoustic and relinquishment… What did the record house say listening this new songs?
PETER: Well… They fired us, they didn’t pay the recording and they didn’t want to promote this record as a normal album, so everything was alright (laughs). The point is that we made this record in wanting to see how far the record house would follow us. We wanted them to treat this album as a real record and not as a B-sides collection about nobodywould pay attention to. Labels spend their time firing us. But it’s not important, several other record houses were interessed and here we are…
Rock Mag: How were the fans’ reactions during the firsts gigs with the new songs?
PETER: It was mixed. (laughs) But it was good. People didn’t dance, but they applauded. But after each one reacts differently. You can react inwardly without showing it.
NICK: I think it was a reaction of courtesy, because they weren’t familiarized with the songs. I’ll be better after having listened to the album.
PETER: And people knows us now… But in the same time, it’ll teach us a lesson if we would become huge with this album: people will come to our gigs without having listened to the 2 firsts LP and will be surprized to hear that we play so loudly. (laughs) We’ll be forced to play acoustic until our end!
Rock Mag: You made the video of “Ain’t No Easy Way” in Ukraine, how did it was?
NICK: It was cool. We were at the 6st floor of a deconsecrated hospital. There were a lot of different rooms with many beautiful girls very hot and little dressed… It was cheaper to do it at Kiev, but we’re happy to made it there. We didn’t know what to expect because the city isn’t much modern, but it was a good experience.
Rock Mag: Which is the last album you brought?
PETER: The Raveonettes, very good.
NICK: I listened to a promo version of She Wants Revange which will be out in September. It’s really good. The Faint, Interpol, Nine Inch Nails, Sisters Of Mercy. The last album I bought was tha White Stripes one. The Arcade Fire one too, the Tom Vek one… and a bresilian post punk band of the 80s. (laughs)
Rock Mag: Is your name still appropriate to your music?
PETER: Yeah, always. BRMC refers anyway more to a state of mind than to our music. It’s a club of freedom. We invite everybody, even if nobody wants to enter in it. (laughs)
François Berthier for Rock Mag, n°57 Septembre 2005
NME includes BRMC’s HOWL in its list of 100 Greatest Albums You’ve Never Heard (January 2011)
#96 HOWL (2005)
This is the third Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album, and it just didn’t get anything like the coverage or the praise that it should have done at the time – I thought it was a fucking amazing record, absolutely terrific. I don’t know why it’s so under-appreciated – maybe it isn’t in other coutnries, I don’t know, but for some reason it just never really worked over here. People didn’t really get it, and nobody ever picked up on how good it was, maybe because, being mostly acoustic, it was so different to their first two records. But you can tell when you listen to it that the album is really coming from the soul. The lyrics to one of the songs, ‘Fault Line’ – “Racing with the rising tide to my father’s door” – that’s poetry, that is. Those are proper, Dylan-class lyrics. That’s probably my favourite track on the album – it’s fantastic, I wish I’d written it myself, to be honest. It makes me think about dads and lads, which normally makes me a little tearful! But the whole album is just beautiful musically, and it was a real departure for the band as well. For me, it’s the best album they’ve ever made. I just love it.
by Guy Harvey of Elbow
I have never seen Peter talk so much in an interview! This is one of the best interviews I have even seen with the band.
Translation of the German text below the video:
After almost 10 years, the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a permanent fixture in rock and roll business, and they (rightly) sell out larger venues worldwide.
Mainly, because the band around the two front men Peter Hayes and Robert Been never tried to fit in or follow some trend. They always kept true to themselves. Above all, of course, musically, but also as people, who, in many reports, were described as moody and arrogant.
Nothing true in that, they have simply refused the invitation to become ’media trained’ and therefore they stayed real.
This is also the case on the day of their visit to Berlin. Before they played a highly acclaimed performance at the Astra, we visited them backstage. First, only Peter was there for us, but then Robert returned from his tour of museums and joined us.
It was a relaxed 60 minute conversation that we serve here in two parts. We peppered the conversation with snippets from their live DVD and other footage.